6. Black Queer Youth, Unstable Housing and Homelessness: Understanding the Impact of Family Conflict, School and Community-Based Violence on Racialized LGBTQ2S Youth

What’s it like for Black queer youth who identify as gay, bisexual and/or transgender to come of age and transition to adulthood in Canadian urban environments like Toronto? Obtaining stable housing is one of the most important transitions facing young adults, and racialized LGBTQ2S young adults are particularly vulnerable to being unable to successfully obtain this marker of adult status. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the experiences of Black queer youth, specifically those who identify as gay, bisexual and transgender, the multiple forms of discrimination and stigma they face daily in their families, schools and communities, and the impact these intersecting forms of systematic discrimination have on housing stability and homelessness. The author will discuss the limited academic literature on queer youth of colour who are unstably housed and experiencing homelessness, and narratives of gay, bisexual and transgender Black queer youth from my own research on the educational trajectories of young Black men. Their narratives highlight lived experiences of violence, trauma and resilience that raise important questions about how gay community resources and spaces can address the immediate needs and future aspirations of racialized LGBTQ2S youth who are unstably housed and experiencing homelessness.

Alex Abramovich
Jama Shelton
Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness